To be perfectly honest, I decided to participate in Palestra Kbelská 10km run only to keep my friends a company. I remember that when I saw so many people of different weight, height and age, with shining eyes, looking forward to run, I thought they were crazy. I mean, seriously, how can one find running or any other kind of physical activity enjoyable? Anyhow, there was no way to avoid the race by that time. I didn’t have any other choice, I had to run.
And so I started running. As probably every first-time runner, I was very fast at the beginning, so after 500 meters I was already out of breath. I stopped, started coughing violently for about a minute, and continued to run, but much slower this time. I remember a strange pain in my lungs. Only when the race finished, I was told that I should have had breathed in some special way (i.e. breath two times in a row, then breath out twice, but deeper, so that there wouldn’t be air remaining in the lungs).
After interchangeably running and walking/coughing several times, at about 8th kilometre, I finally found my optimal pace, and it was absolutely fantastic! Let’s call it the moment of ecstasy. It seemed to me that I made almost no effort when I was running then. Actually, if I had started a bit slower and breathed correctly, I would have faced this ecstatic feeling much earlier. Anyway, when I crossed the finish line, I started totally understanding those maniacs. Moreover, I became one of them! And now I know pretty well how pleasurable running can be.
Believe me, my point here is not in advocating participation in any sorts of runs, marathons and half-marathons whatsoever. This is more about living in a harmony with your body. Whenever you are under the stress, anger or anxiety, then instead of drinking, smoking or getting irritated, you always can put on your walkman, go out and indulge yourself with 40-60 minutes of easy jogging. And then after you come back, have a shower and drink a glass of your favourite juice, you can easily get back to your study/research, in clear mind and filled with a portion of fresh energy!
Arsen Poghosyan, 3rd year CERGE-EI student